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For anyone who has American Express cards — and ALL travelers should because they are often the best — the Amex Offers program (freebies and discounts) are another great benefit… in addition to the free travel and travel benefits of course.

And there are several Amex Offers that end on December 31, so that’s one of the items in our reminder of the 3 must-do travel rewards tasks before the end of the year.

Just to be clear, when I say Amex Offers, I’m not talking about the welcome bonus offers on the various Amex cards… to get 2022 off to a good start, I’m going to do a video comparison of the excellent record-breaking welcome bonuses on many of the Amex cards (and the non-Amex ones, too), including the best offer ever seen in Canada on a non-premium card, which gives an incredible welcome bonus of ≈ $1157.

(Welcome bonuses are the most important thing in the world of travel rewards, and it’s how the pros regularly rack up hundreds of dollars in free travel — reserve your spot for our free webinar in January if you want to learn the basics about this fabulous world.)

But the Amex Offers program is something else. I myself have earned hundreds of dollars through Amex Offers, which is very nice (even if that is not much compared to the $10,000+ I earned with my welcome bonuses).

I’ll explain how these freebies and discounts that are offered to Amex cardholders work.

 

The basics of Amex Offers

Basically, to reward you even more than with just the points you earn on all your purchases, the Amex Offers program gives you targeted credits (freebies and discounts) all year long.

Some Amex Offers are really interesting! For example, there is currently a $100 credit if you spend $100 at any restaurant. When it’s a freebie like that, it’s wonderful.

You spend $100 at a restaurant with your card… and Amex gives you a $100 credit. Simple.

Most Amex Offers are not entirely free, but they can still be great. For example, there is currently a $20 credit if you spend $50 at Best Buy, Indigo, Simons or The Bay. That’s not a bad discount.

If you need something there, it gives you 40% off. And just like gift cards are amazing to earn 5 times more points, they can be handy here too to take advantage of Amex Offers and simply lock in the discount for later if you didn’t have anything to buy at the exact time of the Amex Offer.

In short, your Amex cards give you credits very easily.

This can make your Amex cards worth a lot more than you might have thought. Consider this if you follow our free “checklist” for each of your cards (you should) and re-evaluate the value of each card before they are due to be renewed.

Not all Amex Offers are available on all different Amex cards. If you’re like me (and like savvy travelers who want more travel rewards) and you have multiple Amex cards, some Amex Offers are going to be available on multiple cards at the same time, while others are not.

Here’s how Amex Offers work, it’s easy:

  • You register the Amex Offer on your card
  • You make the required purchase with your card
  • You receive a credit on your card statement

You can’t take advantage of the Amex Offer if you don’t register BEFORE you make the purchase, but it’s super simple and fast.

I’ll show you below in detail, but first we’ll look at the conditions that apply to each Amex Offer.

 

The 7 important conditions for Amex Offers

Here are 7 important conditions to check with regards to Amex Offers:

  • The eligible merchants
  • The required spending
  • The credit offered
  • The quantity limit
  • The deadline
  • The transaction rules (cumulative or not)
  • The method (in-store, online, or both)

It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. You just have to read the offer, but if you want, we now have a new tool to help you.

Our mastersheet of all Amex Offers in Canada is public and you can check it at any time to see a simpler summary of the current Amex Offers. You can also share information about your Amex Offers with us so that all travel rewards enthusiasts can benefit and so the mastersheet can be enhanced, since some Amex Offers appear on multiple cards based on the ones you have in your wallet.

This ultimate guide that you are currently reading also has the details of each Amex Offer below (since this is the first time we are sharing the guide, we put that below the basics, but we will reverse the order next month so that the current Amex Offers are at the top completely and easier to access).

Here’s the concrete example I’m going to use to really illustrate this.

The Amex Offer for $100 off dining on my American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card that I mentioned above is very interesting.

Amex Offer for $100 off dining (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Let’s look at each of the 7 conditions with this example.

 

The eligible merchants

Usually, it’s a specific merchant that is eligible for the Amex Offer.

In this case, it’s much broader: Any restaurant. And that includes food delivery apps too!

Merchants eligible for the Amex Offer (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Actually, it’s any restaurant in Canada. So that’s why you have to read and see if there are any restrictions like that. In most cases, it’s limited to Canada (but not always). Other times, it’s a list of specific hotels that are included for example. The list is always provided in the conditions if there is one.

 

The required expense

This is obviously the most important element. You have to reach a certain amount to get the credit, that’s what the main title contains.

In this case, it’s $100. But I also have the same Amex Offer on my Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card that gives $50 if I spend $50. So it obviously depends on each Amex Offer.

Amex Offer spending requirement (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

It’s important to understand that it’s always the amount after taxes that matters, unlike just about every other promotion out there (another example of how counterintuitive the world of travel rewards is).

Because it’s really Amex that is giving you a credit, not the merchant. So Amex just wants you to charge X amount to your card, they don’t care if it’s taxes or not. So in this example, I could have spent just $80 on actual food, as long as the taxes and tip add up to over $100 total since that is the amount charged to my card.

 

The credit offered

This is also in the title of the offer, as it is the other vital element. It can be 100% of the amount to be spent in the case of freebies or a smaller amount, depending on the Amex Offer.

In this case, it’s $100. So that’s essentially $100 that’s being offered for free, which is great.

Credit amount for this Amex Offer (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Note that sometimes, instead of a cashback-like credit like these, you can earn a bonus of valuable Amex points as part of an Amex Offer instead, but this is not as frequent.

 

The quantity limit

Most of the time, the Amex Offer applies only once, but in some cases, it is explicitly allowed to use it several times on the same card.

In this case, it’s really just a $100 credit (that’s how it is since it doesn’t specifically say otherwise).

But another Amex Offer that everyone has right now gives $20 off a $50 purchase… up to 3 separate times. So you can get $60 off with the same Amex Offer.

Example of another Amex Offer available multiple times (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

The deadline

You have to use the Amex Offer before its deadline, which is clearly indicated.

In this case, it is December 31, like many others (when the date is not as close, the actual date appears instead of a countdown).

Amex Offer deadline (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

We recommend that you always register Amex Offers to your cards if you think there is any chance that you will use them.

That’s because some Amex Offers are limited and can be closed without prior notice even before the deadline (if you have already registered it doesn’t change anything for you, they obviously won’t ever take it away… but if you haven’t registered it you won’t be able to add it anymore).

 

The transaction rules (cumulative or not)

Another important element is whether you can make multiple cumulative purchases to reach the amount (almost always the case) or if you have to reach it in one transaction (rarer).

In this case, it’s the less common option: It’s clearly stated that the $100 must be spent in a single purchase.

Amex Offer transaction rules (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

This is the only flaw in this specific Amex Offer, at least for people like me who hate spending at restaurants (I’d rather save my money to travel more often and go on 12 international trips like in 2019). I have never spent $100 on a meal, except when my credit card flight delay insurance was paying of course.

But by buying restaurant gift cards, I was able to take advantage of the Amex Offer without spending a ridiculous amount of money on a single meal.

 

The method (in-store, online, or both)

Finally, another thing to look at is if there’s a requirement about the method of spending. It happens.

In this case, it’s in restaurants or online. It just has to code as a restaurant (merchant codes are important in the world of travel rewards, especially for the 5X category multiplier earn rates for example).

Methods allowed for the Amex Offer (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

But going back to the other example I mentioned above, the $20 off after $50 spent in some stores, that is one that only applies to online purchases. That’s why you have to look.

 

How to take advantage of Amex Offers

Here’s how to take advantage of these Amex Offers with the 3 steps I mentioned in the intro:

  1. You register the Amex Offer on your card
  2. You make the required purchase with your card
  3. You receive a credit on your card statement

 

1a. You register the Amex Offer on your card (computer)

You just have to “register” the Amex Offer on your card. It takes 2 clicks, you can do it on the Amex website or on the Amex app (next section).

If you log into your Amex online account on the computer, the Amex Offers appear at the bottom of the account page for each Amex card you have.

Amex Offers on the computer (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

There are 3 tabs:

  • The Offers you haven’t registered yet
  • The Offers you have registered to your card
  • The recap of the credits you’ve received with your Offers

To register an offer, you just need to click “Register your card” on the right.

Registering an Amex Offer on the computer (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

That’s it.

As mentioned, there are different Amex Offers on different cards.

For those who are new to the world of Amex, you can easily toggle between each of your cards in 2 steps starting at the top right of your account page on your computer and then by clicking on the desired card.

Toggling cards on the computer (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

If you see that an Amex Offer on our mastersheet of all Amex Offers in Canada is on one specific card, you might still have that Offer on a different card if you don’t have the same precise assortment as we do.

In short, Amex Offers aren’t tied to only one card, so check your account.

Note that like most promotions in the travel rewards world, there are 2 types of Amex Offers: global offers and targeted offers. Global offers are available to everyone who has that specific card (almost all Amex Offers are global offers). Targeted offers are not available to everyone and you may not see it on your card (this is much rarer).

 

1b. You register the Amex Offer on your card (app)

Now, if you do it on the Amex app, the Amex Offers have their own tab at the bottom for each Amex card you have.

On the first screen, you see only the Offers you haven’t registered and you have to click one more time on “My Offers” at the top to see the ones that are already registered to your card.

Amex Offers on the app (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

To register the offer, you need to click on a specific Amex Offer and then there is a blue button at the bottom to register it.

Registering an Amex Offer on the application (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)
 

To toggle between cards, on the app, you simply choose the desired card on the homepage.

Toggling cards on the app (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

2. You make the required purchase with your card

Of course, you have to use the right card to make the required purchase.

You don’t have to do anything special, you just need to make the purchase and meet all the conditions above.

For online purchases, we recommend LastPass to save your card info securely (and simplify your life by never having to remember a password).

 

3. You receive a credit on your card statement

Amex will issue you a credit for the promised amount directly to your statement, it’s really very simple: It’s automatic.

The credit from an Amex Offer posted the day after the purchase (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

You will usually see it appear very quickly, but sometimes it can take a few weeks. If you’ve met all the requirements, there’s nothing to worry about.

After several dozen Amex Offers over many years as an Amex cardholder, I have never had a single instance where I had to contact them for missing credit at all (which happens regularly with other programs).

As mentioned, there’s also a tab to see the total amount of credits you’ve earned with each card, but I’ve noticed before that sometimes some credits don’t show up in that total there even if I got them. But hey, it still gives you a good idea of what you earned.

Total credits from Amex Offers on one of my cards (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Current Amex Offers

Check out mastersheet of all Amex Offers in Canada for the full list, here I’ll just put thee important ones that expire on December 31st for now.

I’ll be back with a more detailed article on the “Give and Get Local”, an awesome Amex Offer that is valid until March 31. It is a new version of the “Shop Small” Amex Offer that is very popular and that comes back every year and gives several easy discounts.

 

Restaurants: Spend $100, get $100

  • Merchants: All restaurants
  • Rule: Must be in one single transaction
  • Method: In restaurants, online, or on food delivery apps
  • Quantity: 1
  • Deadline: December 31st

It’s pretty simple, you have to reach $100 in a single transaction at any restaurant that accepts Amex or via the 3 food delivery apps.

As mentioned, I bought 4 Subway gift cards ($25 each), to “stack” promos or to “double-dip”. That’s because there was the annual Subway promo that gave you a free 6-inch sub for each $25 gift card purchased, so I also got 4 free 6-inch sandwiches instead of just $100 free.

 

Restaurants: Spend $50, get $50

  • Merchants: All restaurants
  • Rule: Must be in one single transaction
  • Method: In restaurants, online, or on food delivery apps
  • Quantity: 1
  • Deadline: December 31st

This is exactly the same as the previous Amex Offer, but it’s $50 free instead of $100 on non-premium cards.

 

Online shopping: Spend $50, get $20 (or $15)

  • Merchants: Best Buy, Indigo, Simons or The Bay
  • Rule: Can be cumulative transactions
  • Method: Online only
  • Quantity: 1
  • Deadline: December 31st

I have the $20 offer on one of my cards but on another one it’s $15. In any case, it was easy to spend them (along with the one on one of my girlfriend’s cards too) with the Christmas gifts I had to buy. The cumulative transactions work even with different merchants on the list (I purchased something under $50 at The Bay then completed the Offer with a purchase at Best Buy).

And even if this one is online only, you can use the in-store pickup option to avoid shipping fees if you don’t reach the minimum required by the retailer for free shipping.

 

Luxury restaurants: Spend $175, get $175

  • Merchants: Certain restaurants only
  • Rule: Can be cumulative transactions
  • Method: In restaurant
  • Quantity: 1
  • Deadline: December 31st

For those who have The Platinum Card from American Express, there’s another $175 free at specific high-end restaurants in Canada and around the world.

 

Subway: Spend $15, get $5

  • Merchants: Subway restaurants in Canada
  • Rule: Can be cumulative transactions
  • Method: In restaurant
  • Quantity: 1
  • Deadline: December 31st

Not a huge amount, but it’s still a 33% discount. A Subway gift card will do if you don’t feel like eating at Subway until tomorrow.

 

United: Spend $400, get $120

  • Merchants: United Airlines
  • Rule: Can be cumulative transactions
  • Method: Online
  • Quantity: 1
  • Deadline: December 31st

For those who have a flight to book, United is often among the cheapest airlines for many destinations. This is even more true with a $120 discount.

I have a roundtrip to Memphis to book for a convention in April, so I’ll probably fly United. Right now they’re offering free changes anyway, so a 30% discount is worth it considering I know I’ll be able to spend it eventually as someone who travels a lot (and as someone who has United Silver elite status thanks to my Marriott Bonvoy hotel elite status).

 

Dollarama: Spend $20, get $5

  • Merchants: Dollarama in Canada
  • Rule: Can be cumulative transactions
  • Method: In store
  • Quantity: 1
  • Deadline: December 31st

Not a huge discount, but better than nothing. I didn’t need anything at the time but I just went in and bought a gift card to get the discount for later, since we’ll surely end up needing to buy stuff there for the house.

 

Whole Foods: Spend $50, get $10

  • Merchants: Whole Foods in Canada
  • Rule: Can be cumulative transactions
  • Method: In store
  • Quantity: 1
  • Deadline: December 31st

For those who live in cities where Whole Foods grocery stores are located (here is the list Amex provides), this is an okay discount.

Whole Foods is one of the many grocery stores in Canada that accept Amex cards, so you should really consider getting the American Express Cobalt Card to get 5X the points there: It’s really the best card in Canada.

 

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Summary

The Amex Offers program is a great way to get a little extra value out of each of your American Express cards. You won’t take advantage of every Amex Offer, but there are several worthwhile ones throughout the year.

What would you like to know about Amex Offers? Tell us in the comments below.

 

See the deals we spot: Cheap flights

Explore awesome destinations: Travel inspiration

Learn pro tricks: Travel tips

Discover free travel: Travel rewards

 

Featured image: Restaurant (photo credit: Louis Hansel)

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 64/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

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